Thursday 3 October, 2013
Was it Lashkar-e-Taiba or………?
Hameed Abdul Karim
Dinouk Colombage in his interesting column ‘Global Perspective’ in ‘Ceylon Today’ (Wednesday 25 September 2013) says that it was the ‘Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba that carried out the Mumbai attack’ dubbed as India’s 9-11. Whilst nobody in his or her right mind will ever condone any attack of terror whether big or small, it must be said that Mumbai attack is fraught with mysteries and contradictions.
One contradiction that sticks out like a sore thumb is the Times of India report that claims that the 26/11 attacks were orchestrated by the Indian government. The shocking report in the TOI quoted a former Home Ministry official who had said a member of the CBI-SIT team had accused the incumbent government of orchestrating the terror attack and also the attack on the Parliament. The officer who leaked the information was Satish Varma formerly of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to R.V.S. Mani a key government official. In fact Mani, as the report indicates, had handed over an affidavit to that effect to court.
Gong further the report states that the purpose behind the attacks was to strengthen counter terror legislation. In this case it was to bring in more draconian features to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
One other reason could also be to put Pakistan in a spot of bother by claiming that its ISI was behind the attacks as ‘confessed’ by Ajmal Kasab the lone survivor of the attack team who was later hanged. We do not have any information on the rest of the terror gang, not even pictures of their faces, much less their names. That is a curiosity by itself.
Be that as it may, one enduring mystery that forever shall haunt us all is the strange circumstances under which Maharashtra’s ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed on that fateful day. TV pictures showed him putting on his bullet proof vest and moments later it was revealed that he and his two officers were killed by the attackers. When pictures of the dead Karkare were shown there was no sign of the bullet proof vest on his body. S.M. Mushrif, Maharashtra’s former Inspector General of Police, has revealed this and much more in his book ‘Who Killed Karkare’. It must be borne in mind that it was the valiant Karkare who had exposed that it were Hindutva groups who were behind terror attacks blamed on Indian Muslims. One such case was the Malegaon blasts where nine Muslims were charged for being behind the attacks. Later India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) withdrew the charges claiming that the evidence gathered by it were ‘not in consonance’ with Maharashtra’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) headed by Hemant Karkare. It was revealed later that a colonel Srikanth Purohit in the Indian army along with a few others including Brigadier Mathur and Major Prayag Modak were the culprit along with other Hindutva members within the Indian army.The extremist Hindutva groups never forgave Karkare for exposing them. The Bharthaya Janta Party (BJP) had offered money to his widow to compensate her for her loss, but she turned down the offer with the contempt it deserved.
According to a WikiLeaks report Rahul Gandhi had told U.S. ambassador to India that Hindu extremist groups could pose a greater threat to India than Muslim militants.
Now all these Machiavellian politics might sound like conspiracy theories to the cynic but to allay such thoughts you will have to ponder on the nexus between the LTTE and RAW. That there were secret talks between the two is undeniable. What is also undeniable is that these talks were hindering the IPKF’s operations against the Tigers. Besides, according to B.G. Desmukh, former cabinet secretary, the Indian government had its own compulsions and didn’t want to annihilate the LTTE but to subdue it so that they could still maintain their fighting capabilities if it came to a clash between them and the Sri Lankan army. There is also the widely held belief that Prabhakaran was allowed to escape from the IPKF net not once but thrice. The irony in all this is that the Indian government, its army and spy agency were working at cross purposes! All this happened while the IPKF were fighting the LTTE and losing large numbers of their men and material to the group. Such are the ways of Machiavellian politics. Is there more to be said.